Market News

More liquidation in soybeans, corn, wheat

Soybeans were lower on fund and technical selling, with old crop ending the week with new contract lows. Beans are watching development weather and harvest activity in South America. There are some areas of concern and there have been recent reductions in production projections, but weather seems to be mostly favorable for now, which should help stabilize conditions and yield potential. Weekly export sales were a marketing year low after a big cancelation by unknown unknown destinations. China was the leading buyer despite Lunar New Year celebrations, followed by Indonesia. Soybean meal and oil were pressured by fund liquidation, also establishing new contract lows.

Corn was lower on fund and technical selling, hitting new lows, including a close for March below $4. Corn is monitoring conditions in Argentina and Brazil, which generally look favorable. The USDA’s next round of supply, demand, and production numbers is out March 8th, with CONAB’s updated outlook for Brazil set for March 12th. Export sales were down on the week, Mexico topped the list, followed by Colombia, but Ukraine is becoming a bigger factor in the global market. 2023/24 U.S. corn shipments have slowed, but remain ahead of 2022/23, with the second half of the marketing year getting underway March 1st.

The wheat complex was lower on fund and technical selling, with May Chicago seeing a weekly gain, but May Kansas City and Minneapolis posting losses, with a new contract low for spot Minneapolis. Soft red winter growing areas should see some near-term precipitation, with a chance for hard red winter areas in the coming week. The southern Plains has dried out a little, but the HRW crop will still emerge from dormancy in much better condition this year than last year. France’s AgriMer says 69% of winter wheat is in good to excellent condition, compared to 95% a year ago. Weekly U.S. export numbers were bearish, with Russia holding a lot of market share, followed by Ukraine, and the global supply is relatively large. The big buyers for U.S. wheat were Japan and Mexico, with routine sales for 2024/25 delivery primarily to unknown destinations and Mexico. The final quarter of the current marketing year starts March 1st. New U.S. sanctions on Russia are expected to have very little, if any, impact on Russia’s global grain business.

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